Demades was a famous Greek speaker. One day, he was speaking to a crowd of people in Athens, the capital of Greece. He was speaking words of wisdom, but the people were not listening to him.
Demades noticed that the crowd was not paying attention to his speech. He stopped speaking for a few moments.
Then, Demades said, “One day, Ceres was travelling with a Swallow and an Eel.”
Everyone fell silent at once. The crowd was listening to Demades now He continued, “The three of them reached a river. The Eel swam across the river and the Swallow flew over it.”
Then, Demades did not finish his story, but started the speech he was giving before starting the story.
Now, all the people let out a great cry. All of them shouted, “But what about the story? What happened to Ceres? How did she cross the river?”
To this, wise Demades replied, “What about Ceres? She is a Goddess. She was one and she will remain so. All of you want to hear the end of an unnecessary story, but no one was listening when I was speaking words of wisdom.”
Learn the necessary without wasting time in foolery.
Once, all the trees of the forest started talking among each other. The tall and handsome Fir Tree boasted, “I am the most beautiful tree. Look at my branches. They almost touch the sky!”
He then pointed to the Bramble and said, “You are useful for nothing at all, while I am used for making roofs and houses.” The Fir Tree kept on boasting about himself.
The Bramble was wise and thought for a while. Then he looked at the Fir Tree and replied, “I am happy the way I am, even though I am small. You should be sorry for yourself. You are a poor creature. Don’t forget that soon people will come to cut you down with axes and saws. Then you will not be able to do anything. You will be turned from a beautiful tree into tables and chairs. Then you will wish that you had grown up a Bramble, not a Fir Tree! I may not have much value but at least I am free. People don’t cut me.”
The Fir Tree realised that he was wrong and kept quiet.
Better poverty without care, than riches with troubles.
Once, an Angler was fishing at the riverside. His fishing hook was a very delicate one and was meant to catch small fish only. That day, he kept sitting for many hours but did not catch any fish. H
e thought, `This has not been a good day for me. I have not been able to catch any fish! I should go home now’
Just when he thought of returning home, a large Salmon was hooked to his fishing rod. The Angler thought, Well, it is a big catch, but of no use! Pulling it out would mean breaking my delicate fishing rod. Oh, what should I do now?’
The Angler did not panic and remained very calm. He then thought, `If I handle my fishing hook with care and patience, I can catch this fish!’ Then the Angler turned around the hook, with great care, and at last pulled out the Salmon.
The Salmon could not free itself from the thin hook for it was very tired. The Angler was very happy about his catch and returned home with the Salmon.
Even in the midst of problems, we can have
success if we act with a calm mind.
A Heifer and an Ox lived with a Master. One day, the Heifer saw the Ox harnessed to aplough. He went to the Ox and said, “How do you keep working so hard all day? I would have felt so unhappy doing so much work.” He then started boasting, “Look at me, I am completely free. I can do whatever I feel like. The Master cannot force me to work.”
The Ox kept working quietly. Just as the Heifer was about to leave, the Ox said, “I may be working hard right now but the Master is a good man. He will definitely reward me.” Shortly afterwards, at the harvest festival, the Master set the Ox free to roam around. He praised him and said, “You are a hard worker and I am proud of you.” The Master then walked away to find the Heifer. On finding him, the Master bound the Heifer with ropes and led him to the altar to be killed in honour of the occasion.
The Ox was watching quietly. He smiled and said to the Heifer, “You were allowed to live in idleness, because you were to be sacrificed.”
One day, a Mother Crab and her baby were walking together. The Baby Crab was walking a little ahead of the Mother.
After a while, the Mother Crab said, “Why do you bend towards one side when you walk, my child?”
The Baby Crab turned back and looked at its Mother and asked, “Why Mother, what is wrong with the way I walk?”
The Mother Crab replied, “It does not look good.
You look much better when you walk straight and forward.” The young Crab said, “This might be quite true, Mother. But I do not know how to walk straight. So, if you will show me how to walk straight, I will promise to do so, too.”
His Mother readily agreed and said, “Look carefully now
When the Mother tried to walk straight, it was impossible for her also to walk that way.
She kept trying, but she could not walk straight. Tired, she said to her son, “I am sorry for scolding you. I myself cannot walk in a straight manner. How can I ask you to do so?” She then told her son, “You continue to walk the way you do!”
Once, a Falconer lived in a kingdom. He went to the forest, every day, to catch birds and sell them. One day, he saw a rare Kite. The Kite was magnificent and strong. But the Falconer was lucky and captured the Kite, while it was taking a nap in its nest.
The Falconer decided to gift the precious bird to the King.
`If I give this Kite to the King, he might give me a reward,’ the Falconer thought. When the Kite was taken to the King, it flew and sat on his nose. The people in the King’s court could not control their laughter at the funny sight. The King remained silent. He could not scream or shout.
“Come here, you silly bird! That is no place to sit,” cried the Falconer. He was afraid of being punished. The Kite refused to move.
“I will beat you, black and blue if you don’t move!” warned the Falconer.
The Kite still did not move.
Finally, the King announced, “Kite, you are free to go. You are no longer a prisoner of the Falconer.”
Hearing this, the Kite left the King’s nose and flew away to its freedom.